Often, the issues facing our industry are pretty evident. This year’s hot topic, GDPR and data protection, has spawned articles, trade show conference sessions, and a flurry of updated user agreements. But mobile operators should recognize that increased regulatory pressure for higher Quality of Service will be just as important over the coming decade. It’s everywhere, from equatorial Africa to the far east to the EU.
As we move towards a 5G world, regulatory bodies in countries like India and Singapore are taking notice when network subscribers aren’t well-served. This type of oversight will only increase. NCP, Carnegie Technologies’ Network Convergence Platform is a future-proofed approach to addressing these QoS demands; it offers many of the anticipated advantages of 5G today. Mobile operators who invest in NCP can avoid facing financial penalties by maintaining a Wi-Fi-supported telecommunications service-level that satisfies subscriber demands and adheres to government mandates.
All eyes on QoS
The changing regulatory landscape is an outgrowth of emerging nations’ efforts to modernize. While telecommunications services play a critical role in modernizing nations, they also face backlash for poor QoS. Operators are encountering increased pressure to meet regulatory standards for voice and data services, as evidenced by fines levied in the last year in countries like Tanzania, India, and Singapore. Ivory Coast operators MTN, Orange, and Moov faced penalties of nearly $9mm USD.
While its primarily been emerging economies in the crosshairs of international regulatory agencies, more advanced nations will inevitably face increased scrutiny as well. Since new “roam like home” regulations abolished roaming charges in the EU, we’ve seen substantial growth in the number of people using their devices while roaming and a growing expectation for uninterrupted QoS while abroad. Users will increasingly expect access to the same high-quality experiences when they travel as they do when they’re at home.
Penalties were incorporated into the framework of the NIS Directive passed in 2016 when attention to security of network and information systems was at its height. Regulatory headwinds are shifting to network infrastructure and QoS investment. UK regulator Ofcom faced pressure to enforce a separation of BT and subsidiary Openreach when years of “unacceptable” enterprise performance—resulting from low investment in infrastructure to keep prices low—compelled internet competitors and politicians to appeal to Britain’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee (CMS) for consequences to ignoring performance improvement guidelines.
The stakes are high. Enforcement techniques might come in the form of a "naming and shaming“ strategy to tighten adherence to regulations, financial penalties, or perhaps more drastic legal enforcements. Repeated non-compliance may trigger cancellations of operators’ licenses.
The road to 5G will be littered with networks incapable of the quality necessary to meet demand.
Preparing for the future
We believe now is the time to upgrade and modernize existing infrastructures in anticipation of increasing demand. Demand will swell as subscriber-numbers climb, traffic volumes rise in e-commerce, and cashless transactions become steadily more prevalent in our global economy.
A strategic investment of this nature can be a win-win for operators and mobile customers. On the network side, operator benefits include increased revenue, improved customer loyalty through enhanced user-experience, early entry into the market of high-QoS networks. and improved scale by coupling subscribers’ connections with the Link Aggregation capabilities of NCP. Customers reap the rewards of quality Wi-Fi-supported mobile experiences for Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony and multimedia streaming, along with similar performance improvements to all other connection-dependent applications, all while using less cellular data.
Carnegie’s NCP is a packaged solution for achieving these exact outcomes, giving mobile operators a clear and easy way to invest in their own networks while providing next-generation performance and reliability to subscribers.
Maintaining Success under scrutiny
Satisfying customer needs and expectations is one of the most significant challenges mobile operators face as we transition to a new era of higher network standards. As regulatory agencies start paying more attention to quality of service, network performance becomes the critical parameter of measurement, as well as the impetus behind customer satisfaction.
NCP helps operators prepare for this increased scrutiny by providing their networks with the consistent quality that regulators and customers will demand, wherever those networks operate.